The eclectic and restless Larkin Grimm, a folk singer with a burgeoning career, talks to PopMatters 20 Questions about her inspiration, chainsaw art, and sex outdoors.
In reviewing Larkin Grimm's latest release, Parplar, last year, Matthew Fiander wrote that "it's probably easiest to call Larkin Grimm a folk singer, but doing that fails to capture just how difficult she is to pin down. She can play the solitary, sad ballad like any good folk singer. But once she lets out that sadness, she seems to cut free of it, and the rest of Parplar is a fiery and energetic challenge to the listener."
1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
I've only cried for two movies: Winnie the Pooh and Dancer in the Dark. The last book that made me cry was written by my record producer, Michael Gira. It's called The Consumer and is about apocalyptic sexual fantasy.
2. The fictional character most like you?
Probably Grushenka from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky or maybe The Cat in the Hat from Dr. Seuss. When I was a kid, I wanted to be Huckleberry Finn.
3. The greatest album, ever?
Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger.
4. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Wars was more about Zen, while Star Trek was based on a cheesier New Age spirituality. I was completely in love with Princess Leia as a child. She's still my ideal woman. And my father looks like Luke Skywalker. But he watches Star Trek. I prefer real life. It's much weirder than the movies.
5. Your ideal brain food?
When I'm on the road I eat nothing but organic beef jerky, nuts, and berries.
6. You're proud of this accomplishment, but why?
A camp-out noise festival I organized in the forest during the summer of 2004. It was called Future Friends. I invited all of the musicians I admired most, and they remain some of my best friends today. So I gave it the right title, and it was my first magic spell that totally worked.
7. You want to be remembered for...?
Helping the music community to be a healthier and more magical place.
8. Of those who've come before, the most inspirational are?
Martin Luther King Jr., Hildegard Von Bingen, Madonna, Geronimo.
9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?
Van Eyck's Ghent Altarpiece, or the Velvet Underground's Loaded.
10. Your hidden talents...?
I can make woodcarvings with a chainsaw, I practice Thai massage, and I am a Reiki Master. I am also very good at origami, and can paint with both hands at once and write with a pen held between my toes. I am also a pretty good matchmaker, and can find a needle in a haystack.
11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?
Do what you love.
12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?
My 12" Mac laptop, which has enabled me to record songs while camping in the mountains, riding in canoes, and sleeping on friends' couches. It is the only material possession I have ever been truly attached to, and I've had the same one for six years. I bought it used. I am writing on it right now. It's a beautiful silver color that reminds me of moonlight and allows me to communicate in countless ways with beings all around the universe. Not all technology is bad.
13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or...?
My favorite clothes are the ones I've sewn, silkscreened, or dyed myself. But I have a thing for Austrian lingerie.
14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?
The homeless guy from the street outside the building.
15. Time travel: where, when and why?
I'd go back and find Joan of Arc, slap her in the face, and tell her it's not worth it. I'd teach her how to use her psychic abilities to change things from the inside out, invisibly, and tell her to enjoy her life. I'd nip the whole sexy martyr victim thing in the bud, right there.
16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?
Sex outdoors, under a tree, can work wonders. But I am trying to eliminate all stress, not manage it. Maybe... realizing that nothing is real. That might work. This is slightly embarrassing, but I actually use crystals. I keep them in my pockets all the time, with a stone that contains natural lithium salts. I talk to rocks.
17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or...?
Clean water from the spring, never bottled. Clean air. Clean food. Love, and shelter.
18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?
Wherever I am right now, that's the best possible place.
19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?
Don't let it go to your head.
20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?
I am trying to be good to my friends, and to be generous especially during hard times. I am focusing a lot on laughter and gentleness.